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The Digestive system is the process of breaking down of complex food

into simpler form, in order to absorb nutrients. Most of the food we eat is in
insoluble form. The food has to undergo five stages of processing in order
to absorb nutrient from the food.

 Mouth

The opening in the lower part of the human face, surrounded by the lips,
through which food is taken in. Digestive system begins with the mouth.
The following processes take place in the mouth.

 Teeth

Cuts the food into small bits, saliva softens the food to pulp tongue helps in
pushing the bits of food into the throat (food pipe).
 Esophagus (food pipe)

The part of the alimentary canal that connects the throat to the stomach.
The wall of esophagus expands and relaxes, which make a wave like
action to push the food to the stomach.

 Stomach

A saclike enlargement of the alimentary canal forming an organ for storing,

diluting, and digesting food. Most of the food gets digested in the stomach
and intestines. It secretes digestive juice like gastric juice, which breaks
proteins to amino acids. Hydrochloric acid kills germs and action of
enzymes. Food gets converted into semi-solid state called chyme.

 Small intestine

The narrow, winding, upper part of the intestine where digestion is

completed and nutrients are absorbed by the blood. Food mixes with bile
juice and pancreatic juice, then enters the intestine. It gets mixed with
intestinal juices which contains enzymes that help in digestion. Proteins,
amino acids by bile juice; fat and fatty acids, glycerol by intestinal juice;
simple sugars by pancreatic juice. Finger like projections called villi absorbs

 Large intestine

The portion of the intestine that transports waste out of the body and
absorbs water from the waste before it leaves. The leftover liquid mixture of
undigested food and water in the small intestine passes into the large
intestine. The walls of the large intestine allow water and leftover useful
substances to pass back into the blood. The moist undigested solids
remain inside.

 Rectum

The rectum muscles create pressure that helps in removing solid waste out
of the body.
They are joined together in a long tube called alimentary canal Accessory
organs also help in digestion such as liver and pancreas.
Digestion Process
The process of digestion begins from the mouth and ends in the small
intestine – the large intestines’ main function is to absorb the remaining
water from the undigested food and enable bacterial fermentation of
materials that can no longer be digested.
The alimentary canal or the gastrointestinal tract is a series of hollow
organs and tubes that begins from the mouth cavity and continues into the
pharynx, through the stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and finally
ending at the anus. Food particles get digested gradually as they travel
through various compartments of the gastrointestinal tract.
The digestion process takes place in the following steps.

The very first step involves mastication (chewing). The salivary glands,
along with the tongue helps to moisten and lubricate food, before being
pushed down into the food pipe.

Mixing and movement

It involves the process of lubricating and manipulating food and pushing it
down the food through the food pipe (using peristalsis), and into the

The stomach, small intestine, liver, and pancreas secrete enzymes and
acids to aid the process of digestion. It functions by breaking down food
particles into simple components and easily absorbable components.

The process of converting complex food particles into simpler substances
in the presence of enzymes and acids secreted by different digestive

This process begins in the small intestine where most of the nutrients and
minerals are absorbed. The excess water in the indigestible matter is
absorbed by the large intestines.
The process of removing indigestible substances and waste by-products
from the body through the process of defecation.
In a nutshell, the digestion process consists of the six following steps:
Ingestion ⇒Mixing and
Movement ⇒ Secretion ⇒ Digestion ⇒Absorption ⇒Excretion

Disorders of the Digestive System

1. Jaundice: In this. The liver gets affected, skin and eyes turn yellow
due to the deposit of bile pigment.

2. Vomiting: It is the ejection of stomach contents through the mouth

and controlled by the center in the medulla oblongata.

3. Diarrhea: It is the abnormal bowel movement and the faecal

discharge with more liquidity, which leads to dehydration.

4. Constipation: A condition in which the faeces are clutched within the

rectum due to an irregular bowel movement.

5. Indigestion: A pain or discomfort in the stomach which is caused

when food is not digested properly resulting in the feeling of fullness.
Indigestion is mainly caused due to inadequate enzyme secretion,
food poisoning, anxiety, overeating and eating spicy foods.

Functions of the Digestive System

Digestion and absorption are the two main functions of the digestive
Digestion is necessary for breaking down food particles into nutrients that
are used by the body as an energy source, cell repair, and growth.
Food and drink need to be converted into smaller molecules
of nutrients before it is absorbed by the blood and carried to the cells
throughout the body. The body breaks the nutrients present in the drinks
and food into carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and proteins.
Accessory Organs
Accessory organs are organs which are not part of the digestive system,
however, they aid in the digestion process by performing many secondary
functions. The main accessory organs of the digestive system are the
tongue, liver, pancreas and gall bladder.
Role of the tongue as an accessory Organ
The tongue is not a part of the digestive system but it provides support
functions such as moving and manipulating the food within the buccal
cavity. Furthermore, moistening food also helps to swallow and pass
through the esophagus without much resistance.
Our body is a complex machine, requiring many processes to function
efficiently. To keep these important processes running without any hitches,
we need vital elements and components which are to be delivered to the
various parts of our body.
This role of transportation is undertaken by the human circulatory system,
moving essential nutrients and minerals throughout the body and metabolic
waste products away from the body.

Human Circulatory System

The human circulatory system is a complex network consisting of arteries,
veins, capillaries and the heart. Its primary role is to provide essential
nutrients, minerals and other important components such as hormones to
various parts of the body. Alternatively, the circulatory system is also
responsible for collecting metabolic waste and toxins from the cells and
tissues to be purified or expelled from the body.

Features of the Human Circulatory System

The important features of human circulatory are as follows:

 Human Circulatory System consists of blood that transports,

nutrients, gases, wastes and hormones.
 The heart consists of two pumps-

o one to pump deoxygenated blood to the lungs

o the other to pump oxygenated blood to different organs and
 Human Circulatory System consists of a system of blood
vessels to circulate blood throughout the body.
 It consists of organs like lungs and intestines that add materials
to the blood and lungs and kidneys that remove wastes from
the blood.
Introduction to the Heart
The human heart is one of the most important organs responsible for
sustaining life. It is essentially a muscle, about the size of a clenched fist. 
The human heart functions throughout a person’s lifespan, pumping almost
200 million litres of blood. A human heart roughly beats 2.5 billion times
during a human lifespan, making it one of the most robust and hardest
working muscle in the human body.
Besides humans, most other animals also possess a heart that pumps
blood throughout their body. Even invertebrates such as grasshoppers
possess a “heart”, though they don’t function the same way a human heart

Where is the Heart Located?

The heart in the human body is located between the lungs, behind and
slightly towards the left of the sternum (breastbone).
Two-thirds of the heart is situated on the left side of the chest and the
remaining part is balanced on the right side of the chest.

The Function of the Heart

The function of the heart in any organism is to maintain a constant flow of
blood throughout the body. This replenishes oxygen and circulates
nutrients among the cells and tissues. And because the human heart is a
homologous organ, it functions no differently from any other vertebrates
that possess a heart. Following are the main functions of the heart:

 One of the primary functions of the human heart is to pump blood

throughout the body.
 In the process, the human heart also aids the body’s transport system
– blood, by delivering oxygen, hormones, glucose etc to various parts
of the body.
 The heart also ensures that adequate blood pressure is maintained.
There are two types of circulation within the body, namely pulmonary
circulation and systemic circulation.
Types of Circulation

 Pulmonary circulation is a portion of circulation responsible for

carrying deoxygenated blood away from the heart, to the lungs and
then brings oxygenated blood back to the heart.
 Systemic circulation is another portion of circulation where the
oxygenated blood is pumped from the heart to every organ and tissue
in the body, and then back again to the heart.
Now, the heart itself is a muscle and therefore, it needs a constant supply
of oxygenated blood. This is where another type of circulation comes into
play, the coronary circulation.

 Coronary circulation is the most essential portion of the circulation,

where oxygenated blood is supplied to the heart. This is important as
the heart is responsible for supplying blood throughout the body. And
organs like the brain need a steady flow of fresh, oxygenated blood to
ensure functionality.
In a nutshell, the circulatory system plays a vital role in supplying oxygen,
nutrients and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes from the body. Let
us gain a deeper insight into the various anatomical structures of the heart:

Structure of the Human Heart

The human heart is about the size of our own fist and is divided into four
chambers, namely two ventricles and two atria. The ventricles are the
chambers that pump blood and atrium are the chambers that receive blood.
Among which both right atrium and ventricle make up the “right heart,” and
the left atrium and ventricle make up the “left heart.”  The structure of the
heart also houses the biggest artery in the body – the aorta.
The right and the left region of the heart are separated by a wall of muscle
called the septum. The right ventricle pumps the blood to the lungs for re-
oxygenation through the pulmonary arteries. The right semilunar valves
close and prevent the blood from flowing back into the heart. Then, the
oxygenated blood is received by the left atrium from the lungs via the
pulmonary veins.
As we all know, our heart is situated to the left of the chest and is enclosed
within a fluid-filled cavity described as the pericardial cavity. The walls and
lining of the pericardial cavity are made up of a membrane known as the

Internal Structure of the Heart

The internal structure of the heart is rather intricate with several chambers
and valves that control the flow of blood.

Chambers of the Heart

Vertebrate hearts can be classified based on the number of chambers
present. For instance, most fish have 2 chambers, reptiles and amphibians
have 3 chambers. Avian and mammalian hearts consist of 4 chambers.
Humans are mammals so we obviously have 4 chambers, namely:

 Left atrium
 Right atrium
 Left ventricle
 Right ventricle
Atria are thin, less muscular walls and smaller than ventricles. These are
the blood-receiving chambers that are fed by the large veins.
Ventricles are larger and more muscular chambers responsible for pumping
and pushing blood out to the circulation. These are connected to larger
arteries that deliver blood for circulation.
The right ventricle and right atrium are smaller than left chambers. Their
walls consist of fewer muscles compared to the left portion and the size
difference is based on their functions. The blood from the right side flows
through the pulmonary circulation while blood from the left chambers is
pumped throughout the body.
Blood Vessels
In organisms with closed circulatory systems, the blood flows within vessels
of varying sizes. All vertebrates, including humans, possess this type of
circulation. The external structure of the heart has many blood vessels that
form a network, with other major vessels emerging from within the
structure. The  blood vessels typically comprise of the following:

 Veins supply deoxygenated blood to the heart via inferior and

superior vena cava, and it eventually drains into the right atrium.
 Capillaries are very small, tube-like vessels which form a network
between the arteries to veins.
 Arteries are muscular-walled tubes mainly involved in supplying
oxygenated blood away from the heart to all other parts of the body.
Aorta is the largest of the arteries and it branches off into various
smaller arteries throughout the body.

These are the fibrous flaps of tissues that are present in cardiac chambers
between the veins. They ensure unidirectional flow and prevent backflow of
blood. There are two types of valves.

 Atrioventricular valves are present in every ventricle and atrium. The

valve between the ventricle and right atrium is the tricuspid valve, and
the one which is found between the left ventricle and atrium is known
as the mitral valve.
 Semilunar valves are present in the large arteries and ventricles. An
aortic valve is present between the aorta and left ventricle, and a
pulmonary valve exists between the pulmonary artery and right
Facts about Human Heart
 The heart pumps around 5.7 litres of blood in a day throughout the
 The heart is situated at the centre of the chest and points slightly
towards the left.
 On average, the heart beats about 100,000 times a day i.e, around 3
billion beats in a lifetime.
 The average heart in human body weights around 280 to 340 grams
(10 to 12 ounces) in male and 230 to 280 grams (8 to 10 ounces) in
the female.
 An adult heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute and newborn
babies heart beats faster than an adult which is about 70 to 190 beats
per minute.

Heart disease, also called cardiovascular diseases.

High blood pressure: As the name suggests, the pressure of blood flow
increases in the blood vessels leading to many cardiovascular diseases like
heart failure, renal failure, etc. Blood pressure affects blood flow leading to
ischemic stroke and a rise in blood pressure leads to tearing of blood
vessels which may lead to intracranial hemorrhage.
 Angina: people with angina feel a pain in the chest that means the heart
isn't getting enough blood.
 Heart attack: when a blood clot or other blockage cuts blood flow to a part
of the heart.
 Stroke: when part of the brain doesn't get enough blood due to a clot or a
burst blood vessel.

How Do You Get Heart Disease?

Heart disease isn't contagious — you can't catch it like you can the flu or a cold.
Instead, certain things increase a person's chances of getting cardiovascular
disease. Doctors call these things risk factors.

Some of these risk factors a person can't do anything about, like being older and
having other people in the family who have had the same problems. But people
do have control over some risk factors — smoking, having high blood pressure,
being overweight, and not exercising can increase the risk of getting
cardiovascular disease.

What Are the Signs of Heart Disease?

Many people do not realize they have cardiovascular disease until they have chest
pain, a heart attack, or stroke. These kinds of problems often need immediate
attention and the person may need to go to the emergency department of a
If it's not an emergency and a doctor suspects the person could have
cardiovascular disease, the doctor can do some tests to find out more about how
the heart and blood vessels are working. These tests include:

 Electrocardiogram: This test records the heart's electrical activity. A doctor

puts the patient on a monitor and watches the machine to see the heart beat and
determine if it's normal.


If a patient has cardiovascular disease, the doctor will talk about how stopping
smoking, losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting exercise can help. The
person also may need to take medicine, have surgery, or both.

There are different surgeries for the heart and blood vessels. These include:

 Bypass surgery. This involves taking part of an artery or vein from another

part of the body (like the arm or leg) and using it to channel blood around a blocked
area in an artery.
 Pacemakers. A pacemaker is a small electronic device that's put inside the body
to regulate the heartbeat.
 Angioplasty: This opens a blocked vessel by using a balloon-like device at an
artery's narrowest point. The doctor may also insert a stent, which is a tiny, stainless
steel tube that props the vessel open and makes sure it stays clear.